Whenever I would visit Hong Kong, I’d see hundreds of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) working hard to provide for their families back home. Sometimes I’d make small talk with them, asking them how long they’ve been there or how often they see their loved ones. The stories are always touching and sometimes heartbreaking, but it’s the only choice many of them have. Skilled workers are needed abroad and the pay helps those they’ve left behind.
The problem with working abroad is remitting the money back home. The fees can be expensive and can take a huge chunk that could be used in the Philippines. But that has changed because AlipayHK and GCash have partnered to create the first blockchain-based cross-border digital wallet remittance service globally, so that users can transfer money between Hong Kong and the Philippines.
Through the partnership, users can send money using an app, and the recipient can receive it in real-time at a competitive exchange rate with much lower transaction fees. For the first three months, the transaction fee will be waived.
To avail of the service, the sender must use AlipayHK’s mobile app to send the money. Within seconds, the recipient can use it through the GCash app. Both can track their money every step of the way, from when the remittance application was made until the receiver obtains the money. It’s safe, too: all information stored, shared or uploaded through the platform is further encrypted with the most advanced protocols.
With this partnership, Filipinos in Hong Kong and the Philippines don’t have to be bothered with going to a remittance center, lining up, and filling up forms. Now, they can send and receive money in seconds, in the comforts of their own homes. More importantly, they can use the money saved in exorbitant transaction fees to good use.